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Dateline NBC

News/Business. Keith Morrison, Josh Mankiewicz, Hoda Kotb. (2012) Singer Christina Aguilera; fashion blogger Lauren Scruggs; actress Kelly Rutherford. New. (CC) (Stereo)

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NBC

DURATION
01:00:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Channel 88 (609 MHz)

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
1920

PIXEL HEIGHT
1080

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Daniel 14, U.s. 11, Jill Kelley 11, Lauren Scruggs 7, Christina Aguilera 7, Us 6, Kelly 5, Kelly Rutherford 4, New York 4, America 3, David Petraeus 3, Washington 2, Lauren 2, Bulova 2, Hermes 2, Cia 2, Max 2, L.a. 2, Germany 2, South Korea 2,
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  NBC    Dateline NBC    News/Business. Keith Morrison, Josh Mankiewicz, Hoda Kotb.   
   (2012) Singer Christina Aguilera; fashion blogger Lauren...  

    November 16, 2012
    10:00 - 10:59pm PST  

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♪ come on and make the world move ♪ >> she's the power house voice from nbc's hit show, "the voice." >> you've got your little tv show. >> just a little tv show. >> behind the scenes at "the voi voice". and inside christina's home for a brand-new interview. meet the private woman you haven't seen, and the little man at the center of her world. >> mommy, we're going to decorate the cake for you. >> he's my baby. >> christina aguilera opens up. it was one of the hottest scenes in tampa. open to military brats, hosted by beautiful twin sisters. >> they wanted to be seen, and they worked hard at it. >> a peek into the parties where the military met millionaires, and jill kelley. >> when i first saw this, my natural reaction was this was like the kardashians take tampa. >> the latest on the petraeus
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scandal. >> nothing else matters than your babies. >> she is the glamorous mom on tv's "gossip girl." but separated, an ocean away from her two young children. >> it's crazy. this isn't happening. it's hard for you to even believe it's real. >> kelly rutherford's emotional battle. and it happened in a heartbeat. >> i just kept saying, "oh, my god." >> a young woman steps out of a plane into a spinning propeller and lives. >> did you see the propeller? >> i don't remember. i literally just remember climbing out of the plane and touching the ground. >> tonight, in her first prime time interview, lauren scruggs tells her amazing story. >> you can move the fingers, different directions. >> and what she found. >> i don't think i would trade
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that. welcome to "dateline" i'm lester holt. it's the kind of accident people don't usually survive, but lauren scruggs did. you probably remember when it happened. lauren, a young fashion writer, stepped off a small airplane and right into the blades of a spinning propeller. miraculously, less than a year later, here she is, in her first prime time interview, a "dateline" exclusive. lauren and her family take us back to that terrible night and through her incredible recovery. here is natalie morales. >> reporter: just a year ago, lauren scruggs' future was bright. the beautiful girl her friends called "lolo" had big plans and even bigger dreams, as she pursued a career in fashion. >> i am lauren scruggs with "lolo" mag. >> at 23, she started "lolo" magazine, a website covering beauty, fitness and fashion
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around the world. >> hi, i'm lauren scruggs and we're excited to be here today at new york fashion week. >> reporter: lauren grew up in dallas, texas. her parents divorced when she was young, but would later remarry after seven years apart. their experience inspired their work today as marriage counselors. their greatest joy, twin daughters, brittney and lauren. lauren's father, jeff, says lauren always sparkled. >> there's a spirit about her that is just -- it's contagious. that she's just so full of life. >> reporter: but in one awful moment last december, everything changed for lauren and her family. it's the subject they write about in a book, "still lolo" about their family's journey. they took us back to the night the accident happened, a night that was supposed to have been so much fun for lauren and her mother, cheryl. >> we had gone to church, lauren and i, and just went to some
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friends for dinner afterwards, like we always do. they live on an airport, so we ate dinner and they decided they were going to do some, you know, recreational flying, go look at christmas lights and everything. >> reporter: it's common in this neighborhood around the airport where people share a passion for planes. >> all of a sudden, i hear someone running, and i just kind of looked up and she was -- bolted through the door, and she said "lauren has been hit by the propeller!" and i just stood there and i didn't know what she was saying at first. and i just said "what are you talking about?" and she said "lauren has been hit by the propeller, we have to call 911." >> a girl walked into an airplane prop, i need an ambulance immediately. >> where are you, ma'am? >> 230 aero country in mckinney. >> reporter: lauren exited the plane, just like this one, while the engine was still running.
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the propeller, still spinning. at first, she walked towards the rear of the plane. but then, doubled back to the front, a fateful choice. lauren's father was at home when the phone rang. >> it was our friend calling me and telling me that lauren had been in this horrible accident. i just kept saying, "oh, my god, oh, my god." and i was crying, "lord, please save her life." >> reporter: as jeff raced to the hospital, lauren lay on the tarmac, fighting for her life. and cheryl faced a mother's worst nightmare. >> i could see the plane, and then i could can see lauren just lying face-down. and, you know, all i had at that point was prayer. that's all i could do. i wasn't really sure what was happening. i didn't know if she was alive. and i couldn't see where the blood was coming from. she was lying in a big pool of blood. and i could see her hair down the back of her. >> you couldn't see her face or how bad it was yet? >> and all i could do was just
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cry out to god and just say, "god, just save her life." that's all i had. >> reporter: paramedics on the scene feared lauren would not live. her injuries were massive. the prop had struck her across her left side, slicing open her skull, ripping through her eye, and severing her hand. she was medevaced to parkland memorial hospital. orthopedic surgeon adam star was in the e.r. that night. >> she was really severely injured. she had an open skull fracture with trauma to her brain and chest injury, fractures of her clavicle, her ribs, open shoulder joint, and then a wrist amputation. so she was a banged-up kid. >> reporter: six surgeons operated for more than ten hours to save lauren's life. friends and family kept vigil, praying through the night. by morning, it was clear, lauren would survive. but tough questions followed. >> so at that point in time, you
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knew she was stabilized, but you were concerned that she might not be the same lauren, right? >> they told us -- warned us there was a potential that she wouldn't have the same personality. and that she may not be able to form a sentence. >> reporter: she might have trouble with words and speaking. >> just -- she might not be the same person. reporter: with major brain and eye injuries, and a lost hand, lauren had a long road ahead towards a new normal. more difficult and, as it would turn out, more rewarding than she had imagined. [ timers ringing ]
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fashion writer lauren scruggs had survived being struck by an airplane propeller, but as she came to in the hospital, she didn't know how lucky she had been. >> your first memory of waking up, what do you remember? >> i just remember being in my bed in the hospital and saying "why am i here?"
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>> reporter: lauren's twin sister brittney and her sister's husband, sean, rarely left her side. lauren was heavily medicated, and struggled to understand. feeling a phantom pain in her left hand. >> she kept saying, will you please uncross my fingers? and i would just say, "okay, well, let me come over there and i'll tell you again what had happened, because remember that your hand is not really there, but it feels like it's there." >> reporter: doctors warned, lauren could be in the hospital for months. her outcome unclear. but with a fierce determination to recover and live her life again, she left the hospital after just three weeks, making it home in time for christmas. and now, in her first prime time interview, lauren tells her story about the night of the accident. your father said perhaps you went back to thank the pilot or something to that effect. do you think that was what you were trying to do in that moment?
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>> i don't think i was going back to thank him, because i thanked him in the plane. >> reporter: describe the tarmac for me, too. as i understand, it was pitch-black. it was pretty dark. >> it was. it was dark and rainy outside, and kind of foggy. >> reporter: did you see the propeller? >> i don't remember. i just -- i literally just remember climbing out of the plane and touching the ground and that was it. >> reporter: you know, you unfortunately have had to endure people who question whether or not you had been drinking that night. >> right. >> reporter: to walk into a propeller. >> i know i wasn't drinking, and that wasn't that kind of get-together or party or anything like that. so it doesn't bother me. i know what's true. >> reporter: the preliminary ntsb report states that the pilot instructed lauren to walk behind the plane. lauren says she simply does not remember that. do you blame him for this? >> no. i just think it's an accident
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that has happened, and i don't blame anyone through it. >> reporter: the first time you looked at yourself in the mirror, after the accident, what did you see? >> i think i just saw the reality of what had happened, and i had my eye patch on, and i didn't have my hand, and half my head was shaved, and i was just thinking, wow. that's not the way i have looked in the past. >> reporter: in her new book, she writes about dark days filled with anger and uncertainty. >> i was sure no guy would ever think i was attractive again. much less what would want to marry me. i worried about my career, how was i supposed to type quickly with only one hand? >> reporter: there have been days where you would lay crying on your bed and not wanting to get out of bed at all. >> right. sometimes i think i would just wake up and think, did this really happen? i would think i had dreamt about losing my hand or something, and i would wake up and it wasn't there. the doctors even told me that
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losing a hand is like losing a family member or a sister, because it's part of you. >> reporter: she was fitted with a prosthetic eye five weeks after her accident. she learned how to drive with one eye. and got a prosthetic arm seven months later. you say in the book the hardest thing for you was really losing the hand. when you were going through the process of getting fit for prosthetics, that's really when it hit you. >> yeah. because i'm thinking, i'm having to get this, and i never would have thought that, you know. >> and this one right here, this looks -- it's so real. >> yes. >> this doesn't move, right? >> no. you can actually move the fingers. >> reporter: uh-huh. >> just different directions and stuff like that. but i have one that moves, but i like this one a lot. it just is the most natural and realistic. >> reporter: nearly a year later, lauren says her memory and speech are fully recovered. she is back working on her website, and she attended
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fashion week in new york in it september. she says despite her loss, she's living life with a new normal. this is your second home? >> it is, yeah. >> reporter: lauren took me to athletes performance, where she works out, building her strength. she says it has been key to her recovery. >> so this is the liner. and it protects my arm and also keeps this intact when i'm working out. >> reporter: many professional athletes work out at this facility. and when lauren was showing me her workout arms, a surprise visit. oh, my, somebody -- >> jesse? how are you doing? >> reporter: jesse holley, former dallas cowboys wide receiver, makes lauren dance every time he sees her. >> to see her now, how beautiful she is and how hard she works each and every day, that makes a person like me go out and say, if she can do it, why can i not do it? >> reporter: lauren showed me just how tough her training can be.
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>> let's see if you've got some game, natalie. >> reporter: she even challenged me to a push up competition. >> she's a competitor, this one. okay, we did it, whew-hoo! >> she's in shape. >> reporter: lauren scruggs stands as a lesson in fortitude and resilience. she faces her new challenges with grace and a determination to make the most of her second chance at life. do you allow yourself to ever go down that path where you think, "what if?" >> no, i don't really let myself go to the what-if questions or why did this happen to me. i just -- i don't -- >> reporter: you never ask god? like, why has this happened to me? >> no, i just have learned through reading the bible, and also just growing up as a christian, i've realized that god will only put things in your life that he knows you can handle, and so my life has just deepened, and i don't think i would trade that.
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>> coming up later, another powerful story of struggle and triumph. christina aguilera fighting back. >> part of the mentality of being a fighter and to survive through people taking shots. >> the intimate side of a superstar. but next, they hosted the party so popular with the military. >> jill kelley and her lovely sister. they are lovely, lovely ladies. they're not shrinking violets, though. >> the latest on the petraeus scandal. there arto give one,f reasons but the message is always the same. keep your heart open... and love will always find its way in. you did it, daddy. we did it. ♪ every kiss begins with kay
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the fall of cia director david petraeus has all the makings of a greek tragedy. a retired four-star general brought down by an affair, after his mistress allegedly sent e-mails to a tampa socialite she was jealous. turns out that tampa, home to one of the most important military bases in the country, was also home to one of florida's best party scenes.
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here's josh mankowitz. >> reporter: the presidential election was only days ago, a potentially crippling budget crisis is only weeks away. and yet for the last few days, our nation's attention has been fixed not on the fiscal, but on the physical. welcome to america in the information age. where the trivial often drives out the serious. where the sensational can trump everything. and where we expect better behavior from our leaders than from ourselves. >> thank you very much. >> reporter: that modern rule book cost cia director general david petraeus his job, after he got caught having an affair with his equally married biographer, paula broadwell. >> when i heard the news, you could knock me over with a feather. >> reporter: colonel jack jacobs, awarded the congressional medal of honor, has known david petraeus for almost 40 years. >> young officers always gravitated to him. he was their ideal, if not their idol. >> reporter: the shocking fall
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of a genuine hero has been followed by a stream of stranger-by-the minute revelations. they center on two women in the general's life. his mistress, and the woman to whom she had been sending what are described as anonymous and menacing e-mails. a dark-haired tampa socialite named jill kelley. >> jill kelley and her sister natalie seemed very motivated to get in with the military elite. >> reporter: jessica is a reporter for the "tampa bay times" she covers a society where black tie mixes easily with dress formal from u.s. central command. and no one seemed to everyone joy that mix more than jill kelley and her twin sister. >> they invited people to parties, invited petraeus over. they wanted to be seen, and they worked hard at it. >> reporter: it was jill kelley who inadvertently exposed the affair between petraeus and broadwell when she asked the fbi
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to investigate those anonymous e-mails she was getting. but that inquiry also brought to light an he felt mail connection between kelley and general john allen, whose appointment to nato is now on hold while government investigators take a look at their relationship. a lot of people in town were already looking at jill kelley's lavish parties. tampa bay party planner, ken walters. >> jill kelley and her lovely sister, they are lovely, lovely ladies. they're not shrinking violets, though. they indeed do speak their mind. >> some people commented on their dress, not always appropriate. or their casualness approaching top military leaders and hugging them and kissing them on the cheek maybe wasn't always appreciated by everyone in the room. >> reporter: kelley's closeness with the famous generals seemed to open a world far beyond caviar cocktail parties. she received a pass to walk on to the local air force base
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without a military escort. and according to a new york businessman, she claimed general petraeus himself helped her get the title of honorary council to south korea. >> she made it clear she was close to general petraeus, she got this job from general petraeus and that, in fact, he used his influence with the south korean government to get her that position. >> reporter: adam victor says he met jill kelley while he was trying to land a multibillion-dollar development contract in south korea. he says she offered to use that honorary position to help him, and in the process, help herself get some serious money from his deal. >> she seemed the type of person that wanted to get a deal done. we asked her what fee she would want. and she asked for a fee of 2% -- $80 million. no serious person asks for an $80 million brokerage fee. >> reporter: a source familiar with jill kelley told "dateline" she never used general petraeus'
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name for her advantage and never had a formal business relationship with adam victor. whatever the case, jill kelley and her twin sister seemed drawn to money, status and powerful men. >> when i first saw this, my natural reaction was, this is like the kardashians take tampa. >> reporter: navy spouse, jaycee eckart is a writer about military families. she says this is going to make life more difficult for them. >> we need civilians to look at military and say those must be good people. not those must be people eating caviar for breakfast. >> reporter: so here's your guide to what's coming next. plenty of investigations. denials. and accusations that someone did or didn't know. should or shouldn't have been told. remember, the only thing washington loves more than a
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scandal is handicapping who is going to be damaged by it. coming up -- >> i'm just a mom, really. >> a tv mom's heartbreaking real-life battle. >> how do you take two kids out of the country, away from their mother. >> kelly rutherford's fight for her children. and the pop icon who has coped with dark moments. >> i started crying. >> christina aguilera and the song that's too painful to sing. features, not fees. h because we think your money should stay where it belongs. with you. the value you expect. the service you deserve. it feels good to bluebird. get it at your local walmart.
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her tv show, "gossip girl," may be pure soap opera, but actress kelly rutherford finds herself in a very real courtroom cliffhang cliffhanger. a judge has ruled her two young children must live in france to be with their father. and the question for many in this controversial custody case is why. here is andrea canning. >> reporter: on the set of "gossip girl" kelly rutherford
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was always composed. but in private, she was crumbling. >> i think every mother watching can sympathize with a mother not being able to be with her children. >> it's crazy. it's like what matters other than your babies? nothing. what matters is that your babies are okay. >> reporter: imagine someone telling you that your kids, just 3 and 5 years old, are going to be sent nearly 4,000 miles away, to live in a foreign country, away from you, their mom. >> why would you take the kids away from their mother, out of their school, away from their friends, everything they've known and plant them somewhere else? this isn't happening. it's hard for you to even believe it's real. >> reporter: but it is happening to her. she may be a famous, beautiful actress, but now kelly rutherford is a mom who has to hop international flights just to see her own kids.
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a nightmare she says stems back to 2005 and a whirlwind romance with daniel gearsh, a charming german businessman. did he sweep you off your feet? >> yeah, he was intelligent and handsome and charming and it happened very quickly. >> reporter: daniel was known in germany as a savvy, self-made millionaire, and had successfully sued google for a domain name he registered there, gmail. he told german television he had fallen hard for the american actress. >> translator: we knew from the beginning, it was so on. >> reporter: within three months, the couple was expecting a son. and in august, 2006, just before baby hermes was born, kelly and david got married. what was it like in the beginning? was it bliss? >> i was excited to be a mom. i was very excited. and i was a very hands-on mom. >> it's lovely. >> reporter: and then in 2007, kelly landed the coveted role of
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lilly vanderwoodson on the new show "gossip girl." >> i would be nursing in the makeup room getting my hair done. hermes grew up on-set. >> reporter: life seemed so glamorous. germany tv featured the couple in a story about a green home daniel was designing himself. but kelly says behind the cameras life was hardly all bliss. when did things start to go south? >> i think there were signs early on. arguments that were started for kind of no apparent reason. and then just sort of disappearing and not saying where he was going and then coming back. >> reporter: then, when kelly was pregnant with their second child, the actress says the marriage fell apart. just two years after they wed, daniel filed for divorce and soon kelly says things got ugly. >> he was filing to take the kids away from me, and i -- you know, i hadn't even given birth. >> reporter: when baby helena
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was born in june, 2009, daniel lashed out at kelly in the press, claiming he only found out about his daughter's birth from the tabloids. >> the truth is, he knew that i was in labor and that i was at the hospital. i just didn't want him right there, because it was very painful. >> reporter: you chose not to put him on the birth certificate. were you angry at the time? >> i was very, very hurt. >> reporter: the couple was ordered to share custody of the children, but the two bickered bitterly over the details. daniel accused kelly of trying to alienate him from his own kids. >> it's like someone declared war. >> reporter: the angry fighting continued for years, and then this january, daniel's u.s. visa was suddenly revoked. he was in europe at the time, and with no visa, could no longer get back into the u.s. to see the kids. so kelly began taking them overseas to see him. >> i was on a plane three weekends a month. >> reporter: but kelly wasn't prepared for what happened next.
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in august, a los angeles judge ruled that the couple's children must move to france to be with their dad. he had been living there with his mother since his visa was revoked. >> how do you take two u.s. citizens, little kids, out of the country, away from their mother, because the father's visa was revoked? i would think that, you know, their rights are being violated. >> reporter: the judge, teresa bodet, told "dateline" she is prohibited from speaking about the case. but called it one of the hardest she had to make. in the ruling, the judge criticized kelly for not doing enough to maintain daniel's relationship with the children, like refusing to put daniel's name on helena's birth certificate. she said both children have an extraordinary bond with their parents and because kelly can travel and daniel can't, it was the only way to preserve those bonds. in her ruling, she also requires daniel to provide kelly with plane tickets, a car, and a
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place to stay in france. why not have you be the parent, having to go see them, when he was called an excellent dad? >> well, because i was called an excellent mom, too. it wasn't about me being -- being anything wrong with my mothering of my children. nothing. so, i mean, i'm being punished for being, you know, a good mother and for taking care of my children? and he's being rewarded for having his visa revoked? our kids are u.s. citizens and they have a right to be raised in the u.s. >> reporter: steve madell is the managing partner of one of the largest family law firms in l.a. he wasn't involved in kelly's case, but has handled his share of controversial custody cases, and says in this one, the judge's hands were tied. >> dad is not allowed to reside in the united states. as a result, somehow or another, the children have to be transported. so somebody is going to have to bear that transportation burden. >> i bet there are people out there who rush to judgment, kelly rutherford must be a bad
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mother. how could a judge take children away from the mom, what did she do wrong? >> yeah, of course. >> reporter: infuriating? >> no, it's not infuriating, it's not hard. because i'm asking myself the same question. >> reporter: the judge's decision is only temporary. stipulating that daniel must do everything he can to restore his u.s. visa, so that eventually the children can return to new york. but kelly is angry the kids were sent to france at all. especially with the lingering question of why her ex-husband's visa was revoked in the first place. >> i'm sorry, you need to show us why you can't come back into the u.s. before we start sending u.s. citizens all over the globe. >> reporter: the state department does not release information about why visas are revoked. what kelly does know is that a private investigator who looked into daniel's business practices in the u.s. passed along her findings to the u.s. state department, and later, one of kelly's own attorneys also alerted immigration authorities about potential issues with
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daniel's visa. one of daniel's attorneys told us he can't discuss the visa situation, but in a statement on daniel's behalf, called it unfortunate that kelly is taking an aggressive public relations approach and says the children are happy and thriving. now as her attorneys work on an appeal, kelly copes by skyping with her kids every day. she has been to france to visit them several times, but says the visits are bittersweet. how painful is it for you when you have to say goodbye? >> it's really painful. it's almost where you can't even go there, because if you acknowledge it, you'll fall apart. coming up -- >> these are your digs? >> at home and behind the scenes with christina aguilera. >> could be sitting in sweats and flip flops. >> when "dateline" continues.
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mr. woodson? oh hello! hello! [ whistles ] hello! [ all ] hello! [ coach ] caleb, i've got someone want you to meet. hello. [ male announcer ] at&t. the nation's largest 4g network. covering 3,000 more 4g cities and towns than verizon. rethink possible. she's the sexy superstar of but tonight you'll see another side of christina aguilera.
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>> just a little tv show. >> it's a real juggling act, isn't it, for you. >> it's intense. it's really, really crazy. but it's my life. it's nothing, you know, out of the ordinary for me to have a lifestyle that's just go, go, go, go. i've been doing it for a really long time. ♪ >> reporter: it has been 13 years since christina aguilera exploded on to the music charts as that teen idol with the come hither look in her first video, "jeannie in a bottle." ♪ >> reporter: since then, that jeannie is all grown up, and may now be at the height of her powers as a coach on nbc's hit
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show "the voice." >> something that breaks your heart, sing about it. >> reporter: and how does this superstar spend her friday night? >> hello. >> what is that a secret -- is that a peephole? hi! >> good to see you. welcome to l.a. >> wait, these are your digs? >> yeah, this is my home where i can retire. oh, and here comes the dog. >> which one is this? >> this is nugget. he was a rescue. >> hi, babe! >> this little puppy. >> oh, my goodness. >> yeah, he's a sweet pea. >> he's disinterested in me. >> he's scrappy. >> is he? >> yeah, he's a tough little guy. >> i like the theme we have going here. the red, the whites. >> i know. i love color. >> we sat ourselves down and got right to it. if you had the choice of sprinting like you do or cozying up on the couch and just in your sweats and being cool, which would you choose on any given day, do you think? >> oh, sweats. i would be sitting in the red
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chair in my sweats and flip flops and just hanging out. ♪ >> reporter: and hanging out with christina wasn't what we expected. she let us into her private world, sharing some intimate family moments. the scenes you don't see everywhere on "the voice." and in our interview, a surprising shyness. ♪ all of this from the woman who has been shocking us for a decade with her outrageous outfits and sexy moves. bumping and grinding in her video "dirty." ♪ want to get dirty >> reporter: and strutting her way through her latest, "your body." ♪ ♪ whoa, whoa, whoa >> reporter: at 31, christina is already a bit of a show biz veteran. she has won five grammys and sold more than 40 million records. even created her own fragrance line. oh, and there's that little tv
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show, too. >> you're a total star. >> reporter: and how ironic is it that this chair-spinning coach broke into show business on the other side as a 9-year-old contestant belt south a "a sunday kind of love" on "star search". ♪ a sunday love ♪ >> reporter: it may seem incredible now, but back then, she lost the big prize. >> champion once again, christopher esum. >> reporter: when they announced the other kid's name, what was the first thing you thought? >> i was heartbroken. after the show, i put my little glasses back on and i was like -- they were all steaming and fogged up, because, you know, i had never experienced something like that. it's heartbreaking, because i think also when you feel music so deeply and you're so connected to it, it's just your everything. >> reporter: and awe chatted on her sofa, christina told me what first got her singing. believe it or not, the sexy
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sounds of her video "fighter" really began with -- ♪ the hills are alive with the sound of music ♪ >> reporter: the sound of music? >> that was the thing that made me want to be a singer, is julie andrews up in those hills, the hills are alive, that sound track is a piece of my heart. >> reporter: so what did you like to sing when you were a kid like that? >> oh, god, i can recite them all. >> reporter: even some of the lesser-known tunes like this one, "i have confidence." ♪ what will this day be like ♪ what will this day be like i wonder ♪ ♪ what will my future be i wonder ♪ ♪ this could be so exciting to be out in the world to be free ♪ ♪ my heart should be rejoicing what's wrong with me ♪ i could go on. but you know that song, right? >> i love it more now. >> that wasn't real singing. i was just playing around. >> reporter: and christina found other idols, like soul great,
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etta james. ♪ at last ♪ oh >> reporter: at her funeral earlier this year, christina performed james' signature tune, "at last." ♪ at last >> i was always drawn to soul singers, and blues records, because that stuff had the pain and the grit and the heart. it was real. you know? something i could feel. >> reporter: pain she had felt first-hand. she says she grew up seeing her dad abuse her mom emotionally and physically. they divorced when christina was 7. when you close your eyes and you think about the time when you were the most afraid as a little girl, what comes up in your head? what do you remember? >> i wrote a song specifically about this, where i literally curled up in the corner of the studio, we set the mic up on the floor, and i recorded it, just with my eyes closed and i started crying. and it goes through how it felt. >> reporter: christina doesn't often perform that song "i'm
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okay" because it's so wrenching for her. but she did sing it on this vh1 story-teller special. ♪ it hurt me to see the pain ♪ across my mother's face ♪ every time my father's fist would put her in her place ♪ >> over the years, you know, you make peace and part of the fantastic things that i'm able to make peace with my past with, and growing from there is having my own son and being able to make the right choices for him. >> reporter: these days, she is raising her 4-year-old son, max, and balancing home life with her day job, where she takes her role as a voice coach very seriously. >> you do your runs really well. you execute them really defined. >> you know, whenever i push that button or whenever i turn around or whenever i'm even, you know, in an elimination situation where you have to choose someone to stay and send
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the rest of your team home, it's gu gut-wrenching. >> my choice -- this is so hard. >> reporter: she also draws on her savvy from 20 years in the business to advise her team. >> don't let anyone or anyone's opinion ever define who you are. and i didn't win a television competition years ago early on in my career, but that never stopped me. >> reporter: nothing ever stops christina. but here's another side of her you may not know. the humanitarian. ♪ we are beautiful >> reporter: when hurricane sandy struck staten island, her hometown, she raised her voice, singing "beautiful" for nbc's telethon. ♪ >> reporter: and she circled the globe in her fight against world hunger. last month, secretary of state hillary clinton recognized her for that work. there you're in the picture with hillary clinton. i'm like, this is fancy. that must have been quite an
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honor to get an award like that. >> it truly was. hillary is such a bright light in a room. man, i just have so much respect for a woman to be under the microscope. >> reporter: and christina certainly knows about living under the microscope. coming up. they're not just coaching against each other, but making music together. at "the voice." we go behind the scenes. wanna see me get some great deals? it's a new way to get cash back deals, and it's called bankamerideals! i sign into my online banking... click the "cash back deals tab"... and pick the deals i want. i just use my bank of america debit or credit card when i pay, and then i get up to 15% cash back --
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♪ christina aguilera's new video may be entitled "your body," but throughout her career everyone seemed to have an opinion about her body and how she chooses to display it. she has never held back exposing herself, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not, making her a frequent tabloid target. >> i'm a risk-taker.
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people can take shots -- i make it easy for people to take shots, because i don't play it safe. i find it very boring in that place. and i'm an artist and i like to express myself. >> reporter: comedian chelsea handler recently fired off a few shots when she interviewed blake shelton. >> i like christina, i think she's great. i just wish she wouldn't come out in her underwear. >> i like it. >> she's a comedian, i get it. everybody is allowed to poke fun at everybody. >> reporter: but in christina's world, the latest feeding frenzy has gotten more personal, focusing on her weight, with snarky headlines on gossip sites and twitter. it all prompted her fellow "voice" coach adam levine to speak out on the "ellen" show this week. >> just leave her alone. come on. [ cheers and applause ] >> it's a very basic thing. she should be left alone and no one should haggle her over her weight or anything she does or says. so that's it. that's how i feel about that.
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>> reporter: does it ever bother you? and i think everyone in the public knows the feeling. you're a target, they love your music, they're going to say what they love and don't like. does it ever hurt your feelings? >> of course. i write songs about that. yeah. absolutely. it's the business that i've chosen, it's the business that i'm in. it's part of the mentality of being a fighter and to survive through people taking shots. >> reporter: that survival instinct has carried her through some hard times. two years ago, she cancelled a tour for her album "bionic." ♪ let me hear you say yeah >> reporter: and her movie "burlesque" was a box office disappointment. then came her divorce from music producer jordan bratman. her focus now is on raising their 4-year-old son, max. they say that every mom wants their child to have a better life than they had, a better upbringing, a better -- oh, hello nugget.
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so what are you doing for max that you hope improves upon the kind of childhood you had? >> well, i think i'm definitely accomplishing that goal thus far. just because no matter what, i know that he is in an environment that he is surrounded by that makes him very safe. i'll get all teary. but, you know, i just -- he's my heart. he's my world. i just -- he's just my baby. >> mommy? we're going to decorate the cake for you. >> reporter: christina shared these intimate photos and home movies, and that bond between them shines through. she has built her world around max, literally. writing and recording at this studio at home to be with her son as much as she can. >> reporter: okay. >> that was for my special -- >> reporter: i'll never forget that. that was so great! the etta james picture.
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>> me and cher. photo booth style. >> reporter: i love it. this is where the magic happens? >> yep, this is where all the create consistityist. >> reporter: the studio to collaborate would her new friends from "the voice." she and adam worked together last year on tir number one hit, "moves like j and she recruited blake for one tune. and she brought celo on board, too. we caught them backstage as they got ready to debut their song. and then it was time to make the world move. ♪ make the world move >> reporter: and boy, did they ever. ♪ come on and make the world move ♪ >> reporter: his voice is unique. >> so unique. ♪ come on and make the world move ♪ >> reporter: yeah, yeah, that's it. >> a whole thing. i love it. >> what was going on with that jerry curl head the other day? >> we don't know. >> reporter: what was happening? i love him.
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wow, that is a full-on -- jerry curl. >> he's just fearless. and he works it, too. >> reporter: he does. oh, he loved it. >> shaking it in the face. >> reporter: christina said she is going to miss playing with the boys on the set of "the voice" next spring. she and cee lo green are taking a break while shakira and usher fill their chairs. she'll tour her new album "lotus." she says she chose that title because it's an unbreakable flower that stands the test of time. that's a goal for herself and her music. there is something i'm getting about you. first of all, you're off on stage, out there, and this stuff, but there is a shyness. it's funny, because i'm sitting here thinking, i sense a real -- i mean, it's beautiful to me. there is a place where you feel more comfortable. >> i'm very much two people. one is the extra averted performer and then there is definitely the little girl that
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just kind of needs to be held and comforted and, you know, just wants to be heard. ♪ hearts stop and beat as one ♪ forever that's all for now. i'm lester holt. thanks for joini . more on the man who triggered a security scare at a bay area airport. and we investigate the next generation of air traffic control that could lead to the next generation of cyber terrorism. ionist susan, who sees that she's due for a mammogram. mary has one that day. that's when she finds out she has a tumor. she has a successful surgery and because her health provider has an amazing connected system, she has her life. i don't know what you have but i have kaiser permanente.